Trump wants Tokyo to quadruple base-hosting payments to $8B: Foreign Policy

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Group of 20 leaders summit in Osaka on Friday. | REUTERS / VIA KYODO. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 16, 2019, Reuters. U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Japan to quadruple its payments for U.S. forces stationed here, Foreign Policy reported, citing unnamed current and former U.S. officials, as Washington presses long-standing allies to increase defense spending, The Japan Times reported.

Washington wants Tokyo to increase its annual payments for hosting the 54,000 U.S. troops in Japan to around $8 billion from about $2 billion, Foreign Policy said, citing three unnamed former defense officials. The current agreement expires in March 2021.

The demand was made to Japanese officials during a trip to the region in July by John Bolton, at that time Trump’s national security adviser, and Matt Pottinger, who was then the Asia director for the National Security Council, Foreign Policy said.

A spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry said the report by the U.S. global affairs publication is incorrect and no U.S.-Japan negotiations on a new agreement have taken place.

Representatives of the U.S. government were not immediately available to comment outside of business hours.

Many U.S. allies are coming under pressure on defense spending from Washington.

Trump has also insisted Seoul shoulder more of the cost of the U.S. military presence in South Korea, where it serves as deterrence against North Korea, and has floated the idea of pulling troops from the peninsula, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

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